This technology guide aims at helping stakeholders involved in 4th generation district heating and cooling (4DHC) projects to understand the different sustainable technologies for the development of future-proof and efficient 4DHC networks. This guide gives a short overview and explains advantages and disadvantages of different sources and network technologies on both system and component level. It helps readers to understand why and when to select a certain technology and at what conditions.
The guide starts with the basics of 4DHC and includes different technology options such as low temperature waste heat recovery systems, solar thermal systems, heat pumps, geothermal systems, cascading systems, combined heating and cooling systems, distributed systems with prosumers, etc. It also explains the operational aspects of each technology option. Furthermore, the guide shows the different components of a 4DHC network and how they can be designed and integrated efficiently in the network. It helps readers to develop a basic understanding of what a 4DHC network is and how it operates.
This guide also includes information on how to connect a 4DHC network with traditional district heating systems and how to convert existing district heating into a 4DHC network. Furthermore, it summarizes the future of 4DHC networks with the holistic view of an entire energy system and the benefits of integrating 4DHC with other utility networks such as electricity grids, gas grids, etc.
The development of this guide was led by the Building Physics group of Ghent University, with input from various HeatNet partners.